In My View - 25th April 2019

Easter is a lovely time of year and I very much hope that people got to have a break, maybe spend time with their families and certainly enjoyed a pause from what had become a rather repetitive national news cycle. Sadly though, the holiday was overshadowed by the tragic events in Sri Lanka where what seems to have been a series of coordinated terrorist attacks left over 300 dead and many more injured. That churches were attacked during their Easter services tells of the unimaginable mindset of those responsible. Whilst everything must be done to bring them to justice, it is also so important that across the world we continue peaceful worship, tolerance and respect for others. I am full of admiration for Open Doors, the group that works globally to raise awareness of persecutions of Christians – Sri Lanka is one of the countries they had identified as having a problem.

The last week also saw part of London brought to a halt by climate change protesters and a group called Extinction Rebellion, in a bigger way than similar recent protests they staged in Yeovil. Although much of what they did was rather inept, protesting at an empty Parliament, stopping environment-friendly public transport from running etc, I suspect it was largely well intentioned. However, they are preaching to the converted as this country has taken big strides to protect the planet lately. Greenhouse gas emissions area down by nearly 50% since 1990 and we have been the fastest G20 country to decarbonise. Fossil fuels are being phased out whilst cleaner energy is being created from renewable sources; last year just 5% of our electricity came from coal power. When you add measures such as banning microbeads and cutting down on single use plastics we actually have a record to be proud of in recent years. We must continue to put pressure on the likes of China to reduce their emissions though, which will have a crucial impact worldwide.

Considering events such as the above makes me continually grateful that we live in a society where we can discuss our differences in a peaceful and constructive way.

One of my focuses in the coming weeks is to have Yeovil designated as an Enterprise Zone and I have already discussed this with the relevant Government Minister, Jake Berry. Working with the Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership this would help capitalise on the A303 dualling project and attract business and investment into the area, whilst recognising our skills base and excellence in certain areas. It could support Yeovilton in achieving its ambitions, as well as providing ongoing stimulus and a broader and deeper context and ambition for projects such as the iAero manufacturing and innovation hub. It should be an example of how central Government can complement levels of local Government and make a real difference in our area and I very much hope we can have County and District Councils that are enthusiastic about helping achieve this positive change.

If you would like to get in touch about these issues, if I can help with a problem you may have or if you would like to book an appointment at one of my regular advice surgeries please do call 01935314321 or email